Grant Thornton ‘surprised’ by drop in retail sales

has reacted with surprise to retail figures released by
the Office of National Statistics
late last week which showed a volume decrease of 0.1% from March to April

David Bush, a spokesperson for the firm, said this was ‘particularly
surprising given that Easter fell during April, which is generally the second
busiest period for retailers in the UK and especially as the warm weather
boosted sales of clothing’

‘The ONS figures also largely contradict those released by the
British Retail Consortium and the CBI
earlier in the month,’ Bush said.

‘While many might argue that the decrease is only marginal, we would say that
the underlying tone of the UK retail environment remains buoyant, and that
consumer spending continues largely unabated regardless of the four interest
rate rises we have seen since last summer,’ he added.

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